A couple of weeks ago, the best football freestylers in the world descended on Camden, London for Red Bull Street Style 2016. Simply put, Red Bull Street Style is one of the most prestigious freestyle football events in the world and whilst it doesn’t occur annually, that only makes these events even more special for the stars of the football freestyle world. So, we may be a little late to this, but let’s have a look at the events of the World Final of Red Bull Street Style 2016 and see how the best football freestylers fared at the Roundhouse… 

Among the 5 expert judges for this years football freestyle extravaganza was a legend of English football who was not exactly known for his silky skills: Gary Neville. Yes that’s right, G Nev was tasked with, alongside 4 other experts, judging the best of the freestyle football world on the grandest stage of them all. As football freestylers from 16 nations around the world wowed the crowd with some incredible tricks and flicks, eventually the judges were able to whittle the contestants down to just 1 man and 1 woman.  

In the previous two editions of Red Bull Street Style, Carlos Alberto ‘Charly’ Iacono had the misfortune of finishing second and falling at the final hurdle both times, so this year he was determined to better those results. In the semi-finals he faced off against his Mexican counterpart Esteban Hernández Acosta in a hugely entertaining duel, whilst he other men’s semi-final featured the Japanese football freestyle star Kosuke Takahashi, competing in his first Red

Charly showing off his skills in the final of Red Bull Street Style football freestyle competition.
Charly showing off his skills in the final

Bull Street Style, against Anatoliy Yanchev of Russia. Highlighting his obvious quality which has brought him 2 previous Red Bull Street Style finals, Charly won his semi-final and advanced to his 3rd straight final. He would come up against Kosuke Takahashi to set up an all-star final for the London crowd. 

The final didn’t disappoint. Showing off his famous technical abilities, Charly finally achieved his dream and was crowned the champion of Red Bull Street Style 2016 and also F3 Men’s Football Freestyle World Champion.  

Mélody Donchet used her experience to claim a win in the final in Camden.
Mélody Donchet used her experience to claim a win in the final in Camden

The women’s side of the competition was to be dominated by a former winner of the competition: Mélody Donchet of France. The French football freestyle star gave her all to defeat longtime rival, the Hungarian double World Final champion Kitti Szász, who in the end could only muster a 4th placed finish after losing out on 3rd place to Kalina Matsyiak of Poland. That set up an enthralling final between Donchet and Aguska Mnich, also of Poland. It was in the final that Donchet’s experience at this level really came to fore though, showcasing seamless transitions from standing to sit down tricks and back again to clinch the crown.  

After two days of pure football freestyle entertainment, the winners of Red Bull Street Style, the official World Championship of freestyle football, Mélody Donchet and Carlos Alberto ‘Charly’ Iacono were named F3 World Champions. With this form of football continuing to grow though, it’ll be interesting to see the future of Red Bull Street Style and it’s stars as they take over more cities throughout the world in the coming years.